In today’s reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we learn that God plans on turning Jerusalem over to Babylon because they have turned away from God again and are worshiping idols and sacrificing humans.
Jeremiah is the deliverer of this message and it is not well received. There is talk of killing him and he is even beaten and put in the stockade. Jeremiah regrets asking God to spare them and at one point even asks God to destroy them out of revenge because of what they are doing to Jeremiah. The pressure he is feeling causes him to regret listening to God and being the deliverer of God’s message of doom. He teeters between being confident and praising of the Lord and wishing he had never been born.
The last chapter we read today tells the story of the last four kings of Judah – Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. Jehoahaz died as a captive in Egypt; Jehoiakim died unlamented and was thrown in a ditch like a donkey; Jehoiachin was taken captive by the Babylonians and died in Babylon; Zedekiah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, was the last king of Judah.
In Jeremiah’s prophesy he says that Jehoiachin will never produce an heir that will sit on the throne of David. Charles Dyer explains this well in his comment:
This prophecy also helps explain the genealogies of Christ in Matthew 1 and Luke 3. Matthew presented the legal line of Christ through his stepfather, Joseph. However, Joseph’s line came through Shealtiel who was a son of Jehoiachin (Jeconiah, Matt. 1:12; cf. 1 Chron. 3:17).
Had Christ been a physical descendant of Joseph and not virgin-born, He would have been disqualified as Israel’s King. Luke presented the physical line of Christ through Mary, who was descended from David through the line of his son Nathan (Luke 3:31). In that way Christ was not under the “curse” of Jehoiachin. Jer 22:24
Today’s Nourishment: Jeremiah had a hard job to do for the Lord. He had a message to deliver that was not going to be well received by the Israelites yet he stood his ground, kept his faith, and headed down the path God laid out before him. Even though it was a struggle at times and there were times when Jeremiah wanted to be doing anything other than being the bearer of this news, he persevered and stayed on God’s path. As it turned out, his message was important in the history of Christianity!
Have you ever felt like the path God has you traveling is too hard? Jesus tells us that we have to take up our cross…the good news is that we don’t have to go it alone. Just like God was with Jeremiah, he is with us today.
Tomorrow’s Delight: Jeremiah 23-25
Hugs & Blessings,